Saturday, December 8, 2012

Balancing Opposites

This morning in yoga class, Rocky told us a wonderful revelation: "Learn and practice the art of doing nothing, the art of allowing." This was in reference to our beautiful shavasana ("corpse pose"), after a very active yoga class.

shared from Pinterest
The beauty of it, as he said, is that we are constantly going towards the edges to find that balanced midline just like when we practice handstand. We are constantly going toward the edges trying to find that perfect balance.

shared from
You might not notice it when you see someone do a graceful, balanced handstand but it's these aspects that are usually at play (which I find completely fascinating):

1. feet extending toward the sky
2. hands spread and rooted down firmly into the ground
3. belly deeply engaged & pressing in toward the spine
4. tailbone tucking up & under
5. ribs pulling in
6. arms strong and straight
7. Thighs squeezing together strongly
8. Biceps externally rotated
9. palms and finger tips widely clawing the mat
10. toes actively engaged and spread
11. heart melting forward
12. shoulder blades squeezing in toward the spine

It's when we are able to push a little toward each edge that we find that perfect balance as if we could stay upside down forever (or maybe just a full minute- haha!).

It's the principal of taking opposing, paradoxical forces (strong and open, grounded and flying, soft and full of effort, contracted and expanding) and pushing against each of them to find one integrated, equal whole. When you're in a pose or really any situation in life, it's a true art to balance two polar opposites and find union (yoga) between both.

It was this same principle at play when we ended our super active, heated class (of handstands and core strength building) with blissful shavasana. It was at that moment when Rocky told us how important the art of doing nothing is. The art of of allowing. It was that final moment that I found my true inner balance, peace, and harmony. It was this full act of rest after such a vigorous asana practice when I experienced integration between my physical body, heart and mind.

NYC Times Square Shavasana, shared from Pinterest
The physicality of my practice is really the tip of the iceberg. The lessons I learn on a visceral, physical plane guide and teach me on every other level - emotional, mental and spiritual.

It's such a beautiful practice I am so grateful to have in my life!

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